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Am I really too old to start playing music?
An interesting blog post
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Fiddlerman
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October 22, 2018 - 3:43 pm
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thegael said
No! I'm 62 and started 3 weeks ago and I am diggin it !  I have a musical gene that has come to light and in it's time and I am going for it. Actually it took me over , I had no choice.!  

Music to my ears. I love it!

thegael said
Thank you BillyG. My blood is Scot-Irish-Cherokee from Asheville NC. ..........................Yep, out of control! I' m teaching myself  The Gael ( with help from Fiddlerman videos), the very famous Alasdair Fraser's rendition from the movie score. I can't stop until I have it. I have the fingering and notes down but the bow is behaving badly. ............................................................................... Glad to be here!  

My brother has a ranch in Asheville.

Looking forward to hearing how learning The Gael went for you later. 🙂

Welcome to the forum!

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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thegael
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October 22, 2018 - 9:26 pm
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Fiddlerman said

Music to my ears. I love it!

thegael said
Thank you BillyG. My blood is Scot-Irish-Cherokee from Asheville NC. ..........................Yep, out of control! I' m teaching myself  The Gael ( with help from Fiddlerman videos), the very famous Alasdair Fraser's rendition from the movie score. I can't stop until I have it. I have the fingering and notes down but the bow is behaving badly. ............................................................................... Glad to be here!  

My brother has a ranch in Asheville.

Looking forward to hearing how learning The Gael went for you later. 🙂

Welcome to the forum!  

Small world! Where in Asheville?

Just bow it.

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thegael
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October 25, 2018 - 3:17 pm
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AndrewH said

BillyG said
@thegael -Ahhh - I just HAD to go check it out - how cool is THAT ! 

Obviously an old, noisy recording, but you can sure get the feel of his fiddling !   It's a tad faster than my own (attempts) at Soldier's Joy 🙂    You must be proud to have such a musical heritage !

"Tendency to ramble" - nah - not at all - you're a beginner at rambling.... it's an art that develops the more time you spend on the forum.  And just to prove it - 

As a Scot, until I joined the forum, I was never really fully aware of the various musical traditions of America - I'm searching for the correct word here - I (probably incorrectly) refer to all such styles as "Americana", be it old-time, bluegrass, blues, gospel, Appalachian and so on....    [ waits for the flame wars to start ! LOL ] - really - all I'm doing in a sense is decoupling all of that great music and tunes that I hardly know, from my own culture and musical exposure which of course is rooted in the rhythms and feel of trad Scottish and Irish airs, jigs, reels, strathspeys and so on.

Soooo... Since the forum is largely populated by folks from the other side of the pond, a lot of my initial fiddle tunes belonged to those "Americana" pieces.  I too play by ear (largely - although I'll initially resort to sheet, often to uncover the B part of a tune - the A part usually seems (for me) to be the bit that sticks in my head).   So, other than my initial stumblings of some simple Scottish tunes, I got pulled-in to working on pieces more familiar to my American colleagues!

I started with a couple I actually DID know - like Red River Valley, Tennessee Waltz, Red Wing etc....    

I soon moved on to things like Turkey in the Straw, and yes, Soldier's Joy and so on - and the really strange thing is that some folks commented "Nicely played, but it's got a Scottish twist to it"  roflol - Aye, ye can tak the lad oot o' Scotland, but ye cannae tak Scotland oot o' the boy.   🙂

But, that's exactly what fiddle is all about.   You take something, shake it around a bit, add your own embellishments, ornaments, maybe even mess with the timing, and you come to "own it" in your own way, and it has become unique to you.

So, you see, these ramblings, such as the above, all do have a point to them in the sense of sharing experiences, learning, and background.  It's all good ! exactly

Ramble on !  

In my case, literally all the fiddle traditions are foreign to me and I'm only just starting to figure out how to tell the difference between them... but that's because I lived in Dubai between ages 3 and 12 and the music I heard there was mostly Bollywood, a little rock, and a little Arab folk music. No violin in any of them. (Gulf Arabs didn't adopt the violin the same way the Arabs of the Fertile Crescent and North Africa did.) Didn't hear any fiddle tune from beginning to end until I was 19 or 20. These days I can sort of identify Hungarian, Romanian, Irish, Scottish, and Texas styles by sound, but not 100% reliably... 

So that's how I ended up being a late starter and still almost purely a classical player, playing even fiddle tunes with mostly classical technique.

Most of the traditional music I hear is Mexican -- but mariachi violinists aren't fiddlers. Even though they may improvise some, their whole technique and playing style is that of a classical concert violinist. It's the only way they can be heard over trumpets.  

BillyG said
@thegael -Ahhh - I just HAD to go check it out - how cool is THAT ! 

Obviously an old, noisy recording, but you can sure get the feel of his fiddling !   It's a tad faster than my own (attempts) at Soldier's Joy 🙂    You must be proud to have such a musical heritage !

"Tendency to ramble" - nah - not at all - you're a beginner at rambling.... it's an art that develops the more time you spend on the forum.  And just to prove it - 

As a Scot, until I joined the forum, I was never really fully aware of the various musical traditions of America - I'm searching for the correct word here - I (probably incorrectly) refer to all such styles as "Americana", be it old-time, bluegrass, blues, gospel, Appalachian and so on....    [ waits for the flame wars to start ! LOL ] - really - all I'm doing in a sense is decoupling all of that great music and tunes that I hardly know, from my own culture and musical exposure which of course is rooted in the rhythms and feel of trad Scottish and Irish airs, jigs, reels, strathspeys and so on.

Soooo... Since the forum is largely populated by folks from the other side of the pond, a lot of my initial fiddle tunes belonged to those "Americana" pieces.  I too play by ear (largely - although I'll initially resort to sheet, often to uncover the B part of a tune - the A part usually seems (for me) to be the bit that sticks in my head).   So, other than my initial stumblings of some simple Scottish tunes, I got pulled-in to working on pieces more familiar to my American colleagues!

I started with a couple I actually DID know - like Red River Valley, Tennessee Waltz, Red Wing etc....    

I soon moved on to things like Turkey in the Straw, and yes, Soldier's Joy and so on - and the really strange thing is that some folks commented "Nicely played, but it's got a Scottish twist to it"  roflol - Aye, ye can tak the lad oot o' Scotland, but ye cannae tak Scotland oot o' the boy.   🙂

But, that's exactly what fiddle is all about.   You take something, shake it around a bit, add your own embellishments, ornaments, maybe even mess with the timing, and you come to "own it" in your own way, and it has become unique to you.

So, you see, these ramblings, such as the above, all do have a point to them in the sense of sharing experiences, learning, and background.  It's all good ! exactly

Ramble on !  

Here's that fiddle now, in the Mars Hill University in Mars Hill NC . They aquired it to preserve it. Screenshot_2018-10-25-12-00-07-1.pngImage Enlarger

Just bow it.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
October 26, 2018 - 3:06 pm
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thegael said

Small world! Where in Asheville?  

Leicester.
Are you familiar with that area?

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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thegael
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October 27, 2018 - 8:27 pm
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Fiddlerman said

Leicester.
Are you familiar with that area?  

Never been through it but I lived in Weaverville in 2008. Marshall is right close to it.. Avery Creek is where my great- grandfather had his cabin. That's so cool.

Just bow it.

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StaceyC
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February 22, 2019 - 9:01 pm
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I also do not think we're too old to do something. I have discovered myself again once I started practicing the violin. It's been over 20 years since I used to play back in school. It makes me feel excited, fresh, "alive", etc.. I realize I'm only 38 but it's just the way the violin makes me feel. 

That being said, I don't practice as much as I should or need to right now. I've had issues the last few years with my neck which resulted in neck surgery and am still having some back trouble. However, I fit in practice when I can and as long as I can tolerate it per session. As long as we're doing something we love/enjoy, that's all that matters. 

You'll never know unless you try! What's in my violin case?

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 23, 2019 - 5:11 pm
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Right on Stacey. I like the way you describe the way learning to play and playing makes you feel.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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starise
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March 12, 2019 - 2:09 pm
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Playing into the older years will take determination for sure. I look at it similar to staying with an exercise program. I'll admit I fell off the wagon a few times on that. Hopefully I didn't damage my brain.

I did exercise yesterday. I do it bi daily. I try to play the violin every day and do something better with some kind of direction. Quit one day and it's easier to put it off the next day. Before you know it your out of the game.

 

........anyways I came in here all full of vinegar, where is everyone? My entry into websites usually goes like this, stage 1- I'm excited to be there Stage 2- My enthusiasm is not shared and I feel like I'm annoying people, like I'm invisible or something Stage 3- I haven't gotten to that stage yet. I'm still annoying people. 🙂

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medianaclark@gmail.com
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May 1, 2019 - 6:16 pm
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I always hurt my fingers from the violin
I'm not used to it

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MoonShadows
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May 1, 2019 - 9:56 pm
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medianaclark@gmail.com said
I always hurt my fingers from the violin

I'm not used to it

  

Now that's funny ???? I had someone join my little forum on my blog tonight that posted the exact same message, word for word, under a different name, but with the same bio and website URL, and an IP from the Ukraine.

What a small world!

What a coincidence!

I deleted the membership b-slap

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Adventures in Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
May 3, 2019 - 11:35 am
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I'll keep an eye on the member. Could be a bot....

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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BlackViolin
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June 24, 2019 - 12:37 am
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Hello all,  I am fairly new to this forum.  This is my first time posting.  As far as being too old.  I was 54 when I touched a violin for the first time.  I didn't have a clue of what to do.  It has now been four and a half years and with a lot of patience and practice,  I consider myself a fairly decent intermediate player.  I have had plenty of struggles, but life is full of struggles. The violin has opened my eyes to a whole new way of listening to music.  I do not think there is a more beautiful instrument. For me,  it is great for my mind, body, and soul.  Thank You 

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Mark
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June 24, 2019 - 6:16 am
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Blackviolin,

Welcome to the forum, the fiddle is a beautiful instrument to play.

 

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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MoonShadows
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June 24, 2019 - 7:45 am
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Hi @BlackViolin I would like to welcome you also! 

I have had plenty of struggles, but life is full of struggles. The violin has opened my eyes to a whole new way of listening to music. I do not think there is a more beautiful instrument. For me, it is great for my mind, body, and soul.

Very well said, and I agree with every word!

Jim

Fiddling for Older Folks - Adventures in Learning to Play the Fiddle as an Adult

The Friends of the Sons of Liberty - Three Inspiring Young Men playing Early American Fiddle Music 

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Fiddlerman
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June 24, 2019 - 10:14 am
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BlackViolin said
Hello all,  I am fairly new to this forum.  This is my first time posting.  As far as being too old.  I was 54 when I touched a violin for the first time.  I didn't have a clue of what to do.  It has now been four and a half years and with a lot of patience and practice,  I consider myself a fairly decent intermediate player.  I have had plenty of struggles, but life is full of struggles. The violin has opened my eyes to a whole new way of listening to music.  I do not think there is a more beautiful instrument. For me,  it is great for my mind, body, and soul.  Thank You 

Welcome to the forum. Nice post.

Congratulations on having the patience and devotion to progress as you have been doing. I too am a firm believer that you can learn to play violin, as well as most things, at any time in life. Sometimes learning at a more advanced age allows us to do it in a completely different way compared to when we are young and exposed to so many opportunities. 

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Heinrich
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June 24, 2019 - 12:51 pm
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Welcome @BlackViolin 

Thanks for sharing! You're in good company here.

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